Are You Allowing God’s Word To Challenge And Change You?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).
And we also especially thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God which you hear from us, you welcomed it not as the word of mere men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe – exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it (1 Thessalonians 2:13 -AMPC).
The Word contains God’s very life and nature. Feeding on the Word is not like reading Shakespeare or classic literature. These contain no power to change. But God’s Word is the power of God unto salvation for spirit, soul, and body. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16-17).
Time in the Word is time spent in the presence of the Father. And just as you take your car into the mechanic’s shop for a tune up, so the Word tunes us up spiritually. It rids us of the habits and attitudes that hold us back. It makes adjustments in all areas of life; our home, our business life, our private world, and has the power to break ingrained habits of conduct.
The Word provides spiritual nutrition so that we grow into the likeness of Christ. The Word is spirit food. Keep your spirit richly fed with this manna from heaven.
One Word of caution though. Just reading the Word with no purpose to change or act will do no good. Spiritual growth will be stifled, and personal progress will not be realized. It becomes self-evident over a period of time whether or not we are submitting ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus through the Lordship of the Word.
Notice again James 1:22-25 (NIV): Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.
The author of Hebrews likewise gives us this warning: In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:12-14-NIV).
Be sure to feed on the Word daily with the attitude of acting on what you read. Be determined to change any action, word, attitude, motive, or conduct that disagrees with the Word. Keep a sensitive ear to the Holy Spirit by consciously asking yourself what the Word says about what you’re doing throughout the day. Ask yourself questions as you read it like: Is there a sin that I need to repent of after reading this? Is there some action I need to change as I read this? Is there something I need to start doing as I read this? Do I have a motive that needs changing as i read this? Is there a promise that I need to believe as i read this?
Habits change by taking an action repeatedly for 3 to 4 weeks in a row. If you’ll practice this for 21 to 28 days, you’ll begin to form a habit of walking intimately with your Father. This time next year, you’ll not be the same person!